GOOG Jan 2020 890.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
187.11
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 12:07PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close187.11
Open187.11
Bid256.00
Ask265.10
Strike890.00
Expire Date2020-01-17
Day's Range187.11 - 187.11
Contract RangeN/A
Volume1
Open Interest4
  • Google, Snapchat update political ad policies ahead of 2020 election
    CBS News Videos

    Google, Snapchat update political ad policies ahead of 2020 election

    Google and Snapchat revealed their political ad policies this week, and Twitter made tweaks to its own rules. This comes as Facebook faces increasing backlash over its handling of political ads. Axios media reporter Sara Fischer joined CBSN to discuss.

  • Google Puts New Limits on Political Advertising
    Bloomberg

    Google Puts New Limits on Political Advertising

    Nov.21 -- Google is severely limiting how political advertisers can target people online. The Alphabet unit says it will no longer allow election ads to be targeted based on political affiliation on Google Search, YouTube and across the web. Bloomberg's Eric Newcomer and Kurt Wagner report on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Google adding restrictions on political ads ahead of 2020 election
    CBS News Videos

    Google adding restrictions on political ads ahead of 2020 election

    Google is making it harder for political advertisers to target specific types of people. The company said that as of January, advertisers will only be able to target U.S. political ads based on broad categories such as gender, age and ZIP code. CBSN Los Angeles reports.

  • Salesforce's Benioff on why governments are 'going to take action' vs Facebook
    Yahoo Finance

    Salesforce's Benioff on why governments are 'going to take action' vs Facebook

    "It's a wake-up call for everybody," Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff says.

  • Bloomberg

    Google Workers Protest Company’s ‘Brute Force Intimidation’

    (Bloomberg) -- Google employees demonstrated outside the company’s San Francisco office Friday to protest the internet giant’s recent decision to put two staff members on leave.The event is the latest sign of a growing rift between management and rank-and-file workers at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which was once praised for its open corporate culture. Protesting staff believe the company is trying to quell internal activism and quash dissension about Google’s work with the military and other potentially controversial customers.Roughly 200 workers gathered about 11 a.m. local time Friday outside a Google office overlooking San Francisco bay.“Over the past two years, many of my coworkers have asked the company to take meaningful action to curtail sexual harassment and systemic racism, improve the working conditions of temps, vendors and contractors, and divest from harmful tech,” said Zora Tung, a Google software engineer. “Instead of listening to us, the company has chosen to silence us.”The Google workers who protested also said the company had unjustly put Laurence Berland and Rebecca Rivers on indefinite administrative leave without warning. They demanded that Google bring the employees back to work immediately.Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Google had put two workers on leave, which a spokeswoman said was for allegedly violating company policies. In an email, the Google protesters said neither Berland nor Rivers was given an explanation for their punishment. Rivers was involved in internal protests against U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is currently testing a Google cloud product. Berland was active in protests against YouTube for its handling of hate speech policies.“It’s a brute force intimidation attempt to silence workers,“ the employees said in an email.Rivers said that Google’s official reason for putting her on leave was to investigate her document access at the company to ensure “everything’s on the up and up.”“However, many of the questions during this interrogation focused on my involvement in the Customs and Border Protection petition and social media usage,” Rivers said. “I helped my coworkers learn about and act on Google’s collaboration with CBP. Many of my coworkers are immigrants and this directly affects their lives and communities.”Berland said Google punished him for his involvement in protests against YouTube and for demanding, with other colleagues, that Google not work with the CBP.“Even though Rebecca and I are experiencing the full force of Google’s retaliation, this is not really about me. It’s not about Rebecca. It’s about us, all of us, and the open culture we built and treasure together,” Berland said. “If they can do this to me, they can do this to anyone, and that culture is lost forever.”A company spokeswoman said Google is investigating the access of confidential documents and other information that made some employees feel unsafe.“We have clear guidelines about appropriate conduct at work, and we’ve had a number of concerns raised,” the spokeswoman said. “We always investigate such issues thoroughly.”In the last 18 months or so, a divide has grown between Google’s leaders and outspoken staff. Employees have protested leadership’s handling of sexual harassment complaints and launched internal campaigns against some Google projects, such as a censored search engine for China, a military contract and Google’s cloud deals with energy companies. These areas were seen as potential sources of revenue growth for Google.More recently, some workers accused managers of attempting to censor internal discussions and shut down meetings about labor rights. At least some of the tensions stem from new community guidelines Google introduced in August that were intended to curb incivility in the workplace.Last week, Google scrapped its weekly all-hands staff meeting in favor of a monthly gathering that will focus on business and strategy topics.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Activist investors to pressure privately held Palantir on human rights
    Reuters

    Activist investors to pressure privately held Palantir on human rights

    A group advocating ethical investing will ask backers of tech analytics company Palantir Technologies to push for changes to its business practices, a rare case of coordinated shareholder action against a privately held company. The Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which claims more than 150 institutional members representing $4 trillion in managed assets, faults Palantir for contracts with government agencies including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Through its multimillion-dollar U.S. government contracts, Palantir has played a mission critical role in enabling ICE to carry out its activities,” the group said in a presentation provided to Reuters in advance of its announcement.

  • Google guesses what your political leanings are—but it’s a secret
    Quartz

    Google guesses what your political leanings are—but it’s a secret

    Google, like many other advertising platforms, has a guess about what your political leanings are. But unlike Facebook, Google keeps its guess a secret.

  • GuruFocus.com

    John Malone on the Streaming Wars and Media Landscape

    Summary of stock-specific comments by the Liberty Media chairman in interview with CNBC Continue reading...

  • Beyond the Uber ride: Silicon Valley stepping up presence in Dallas area
    American City Business Journals

    Beyond the Uber ride: Silicon Valley stepping up presence in Dallas area

    Uber has picked North Texas as a destination, but it’s hardly the only company to do so from the San Francisco Bay Area. The region has been attracting more and more companies from the world’s most influential tech hub.

  • Bill Gates Says His Axed Nuclear Reactor Is a Trade War Warning
    Bloomberg

    Bill Gates Says His Axed Nuclear Reactor Is a Trade War Warning

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. When Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates tried to build an experimental nuclear reactor in China, his plan was thwarted by U.S. foreign investment restrictions. At Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum this week, Gates described the scuttled reactor project as “a five-year setback for technology.”A chorus of industry leaders, economists and researchers echoed Gates’ cautionary tale during the event in Beijing. Trade tensions between China and the U.S. have spilled into business and economics in tangible ways, they warned, including a slower pace of technological progress and scientific research. If relations between the two superpowers don’t get back on track soon, “we’re in danger of going back to the dark ages,” said Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang. “We need to reestablish some level of trust between initiatives that can really promote and benefit the people of two countries.”Open systems will inevitably win out over closed ones, Yang argued. He also cautioned U.S. companies that doing business in China may require some uncomfortable compromises.“The challenge with doing business across countries with different value systems is really starting to be more apparent,” he said. “Foreign companies that choose to operate in China have to face the fact that you have to comply with their rules.”Several Chinese tech company officials said they still wanted to work with American companies and that together, the two countries could further technological progress. “We’re in the 5G era, let’s not go back to the 2G or 3G era, where we had different standards,” said Lenovo Chief Executive Officer Yang Yuanqing.Cooling political relations between Washington D.C. and Beijing have slowed international collaboration. In May, the U.S. subjected Huawei Technologies Co. to a variety of sanctions, citing security concerns. The company and other Chinese tech sector boosters believe the move was motivated more by fear of China’s rising influence over fifth-generation networking gear and artificial intelligence.Huawei is Micron Technology Inc.’s largest customer, and on Thursday in Beijing, Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told Bloomberg TV that the company has no plan to move U.S.-based manufacturing out of the country to facilitate supply to China.Mehrotra was one of more than a dozen top tech company executives to attend the two-day forum, which was organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. Most were cautiously optimistic that one way or another, tech companies would find a way to work across borders.It’s important to differentiate between the stance of the U.S. government and that of industry, said Parag Khanna, Managing Partner at FutureMap. “There’s always been a ‘silicon curtain’ when it comes to social media for U.S. companies,” he said, referring to the separate ecosystems that have developed in the U.S. and China. “But on hardware side, that’s the last thing they want.”He said the head of supply chain at a major U.S. semiconductor supplier told him recently that they “don’t have a plan B for international revenue and access to a large important market like China. We have to find a way to keep selling to China.”Zhu Min, chairman of the National Institute of Financial Research at Tsinghua University, put a finer point on it. Chinese imports accounted for about 65% of the $480 billion global chip market, he pointed out. “If trade friction stops chip exports to China, I think the whole global chip industry will break down,” Zhu said.While global business leaders may want to sidestep the political and trade tensions and simply get back to making money, that no longer seems possible, said Diana Choyleva, chief economist at Enodo Economics.“This is about a clash of ideology in terms of how the different systems view the internet, data, privacy and digital governance,” she said. “Whoever wins the technology race will be the global dominant power.”A growing digital divide threatens to be expensive, as companies spend more on their own technological independence and compensate for the limitations of their domestic markets, said Hong Chen, CEO of the Hina Group, a Beijing-based advisory and private equity firm.“But it also creates opportunities,” he said. Huawei, for example, might not have built its own mobile operating system if it knew it could rely on Google’s Android operating system. American sanctions were “a wake up call,” he said, spurring Huawei to create its own operating system that now attracts a whole new generation of app developers.For smaller companies without Huawei’s deep pockets, the opportunities are more constrained. Spencer Deng, a co-founder of robotics startup Dorabot, which is backed by Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinnovation Ventures, said he built his business on the premise of unrestricted, cross-border trade.“A separate supply chain will create a slower movement of goods,” he said. “That causes a slowdown for business and it’s not good for anyone.”\--With assistance from Colum Murphy and Gao Yuan.To contact the reporter on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Janet Paskin, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Indonesia’s Tokopedia in Talks to Raise Up to $1.5 Billion
    Bloomberg

    Indonesia’s Tokopedia in Talks to Raise Up to $1.5 Billion

    (Bloomberg) -- PT Tokopedia, the online marketplace backed by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is in talks to raise as much as $1.5 billion for a final private funding round before an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.U.S. internet companies as well as existing investors are considering contributing to the round, which could bring in $1 billion to $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. No final decisions have been made and the value of the round could change, they said.Chief Executive Officer William Tanuwijaya is hoping to attract new investors and raise the 10-year-old, Jakarta-based company’s profile overseas when he lists the firm’s shares locally and in another as-yet undecided market, he said in an interview last month. He declined to specify a timetable for the IPO because of uncertainty about how the trade war between the U.S. and China will affect markets.Read more: SoftBank-Backed Tokopedia in Talks for Pre-IPO Funding RoundIPO hopefuls are also operating under the shadow of WeWork, which scrapped its plans to go public in September and saw its valuation plummet from $47 billion as recently as January to about $8 billion. The fallout has led to calls for companies to focus more on cash flow and profitability.Still, Tokopedia is experiencing a sales boom, tapping into the growth in Indonesia’s online retailing market. The Jakarta-based company anticipates its gross merchandise value to triple to as much as 222 trillion rupiah ($16 billion) in 2019 with sales growing even faster, Tanuwijaya said in October.The value of the country’s e-commerce industry is projected to expand from $21 billion in 2019 to $82 billion by 2025, according to a study by Google, Temasek Holdings Pte and Bain & Co.To contact the reporters on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.net;Giles Turner in London at gturner35@bloomberg.net;Dinesh Nair in London at dnair5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • This Is How Businesses Can Adapt to Rising Global Risks, Leaders Say
    Bloomberg

    This Is How Businesses Can Adapt to Rising Global Risks, Leaders Say

    (Bloomberg) -- Explore what’s moving the global economy in the new season of the Stephanomics podcast. Subscribe via Apple Podcast, Spotify or Pocket Cast.How businesses can adapt to the new world of heightened political risks and cutting-edge technologies were key themes of discussion on the second day of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing.“The biggest risk in 2020 is the relationship between the major trading powers and economies of the world,” Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. president and former director of the Trump administration’s National Economic Council, said on the forum’s sidelines.If the world continues to fracture rather than working together, the global economy will suffer, said Cohn. “We need each other to grow.”In a nod to the tensions over the race to dominate 5G technology, Li Zixue, chairman and executive director of ZTE Corp., said tensions over national security will be inevitable as it is rolled out. But he also sought to downplay the differences.“The 5G network will certainly give rise to more complex and more severe security issues,” he said. “Personally, I believe these problems will be solved.”Still, Diana Choyleva, chief economist at London-based Enodo Economics, reckons there’s only a 5% chance of the two superpowers agreeing on technology standards.On Europe, former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said the worst outcome for his country’s December election would be a “a very small Tory majority government” where Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be “captive” to hard-liners. If that’s not bad enough, he also warned that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s policies would be an “economic disaster.”Here’s a selection of remarks from some of those present:DecouplingAs a carry-over from the forum’s first day, participants worried about a world where the U.S. and China build separate systems for trade and technology.“Oh my God, it is so radical an idea to decouple,” Scott Kennedy, an expert on the U.S.-China economic relationship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said on Bloomberg Television.The bar for “crazy” has moved from deterrence, anti-dumping and countervailing duties, to sanctions, and “now we are talking, ‘let’s rip these two economies apart,”’ which is “nuts,” Kennedy said.Also pleading for more engagement between the two economies, and globally, was Susan Shirk, research professor and chair of the 21st Century China Center at the University of California San Diego and a former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state.“I believe that China is overreaching and America is overreacting and it creates a really dangerous dynamic,” Shirk said on Bloomberg Television. She recalled former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s remarks from the forum’s first day, and called for more “clear thinking in the U.S.”Deal or No DealWhile corporate and political leaders mulled the way forward over the long-term, they also discussed how business must go on, divorced from the daily trade-war headlines.Firms are “having to constantly adapt, and they can’t wait for political resolution” on Brexit or U.S.-China trade battles, said HSBC Holdings Plc interim Chief Executive Noel Quinn.Michael Froman, Mastercard Inc. vice chairman and former U.S. trade representative, called the phase-one deal “largely a purchase deal,” and “the easy piece.” He echoed others at the forum in saying the real issue is how do the two countries accommodate each other when they are following different rules.Froman warned that if China continues to part ways from U.S.-style industrial policy, “it will not be surprising to see opposition in the U.S. and Europe and elsewhere given the distorted effect on international trade. The question is: How do we move to a common set of rules?”Tech WarsBeyond tariffs, analysts and business leaders mulled how to ensure that potential bifurcation in technology doesn’t hamper innovation.Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin that while some U.S.-China decoupling already is underway, there are still questions over which countries will choose sides around a “virtual Berlin wall,” and “how high the wall is.”“The level of trust has all but gone away” and while “the United States will continue to innovate on its own, and of course China will innovate on its own,” so many big global initiatives require collaboration, said Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo and founding partner of AME Cloud Ventures.“What we need is a strategy for tech engagement in China, and it’s time to have that conversation,” said Samm Sacks, a fellow on cybersecurity policy and China digital economy at the Washington-based New America Foundation.We’ll end this on something of an optimistic note.“Artificial intelligence is not the thing you see in the movies,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s former chief executive officer and currently a top technical adviser to the Pentagon. “It’s going to revolutionize health care. That’s going to be better done by computers, advising the doctor: the doctor will make the decision.”The New Economy Forum is being organized by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.\--With assistance from Kristine Servando.To contact the reporters on this story: Michelle Jamrisko in Singapore at mjamrisko@bloomberg.net;Enda Curran in hong kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at mscott23@bloomberg.net, Adrian KennedyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investopedia

    Alibaba Is Taking the Cloud Battle to Amazon

    China's e-commerce giant Alibaba is set to surpass Google and occupy third place in the race to be the world's leader in cloud computing.

  • Investopedia

    Big Cap Stock Pickers Lose Big Amid $250 Billion in Outflows

    Actively-managed large cap funds have been laggards during the bull market, and frustrated investors are pulling their money out.

  • Financial Times

    Google and the problem with microtargeting

    When Google holds up Old Media as a model for what it wants to achieve with one of its own services, you know the world has turned upside down. The ability to put the right message in front of the right person at the right time has been one of the great promises of digital networks. To protect the integrity of elections, however, Google said it would no longer make it possible to direct adverts to people based on their past voting record or demonstrated political leanings.

  • Financial Times

    Google runs into data fears over $2.1bn Fitbit deal

    to be blocked, over fears that the search giant will feed its growing healthcare business with the data of the 27m people who use Fitbit fitness trackers. The deal for Fitbit has been seen as an attempt by Google to catch up with the Apple Watch by buying a consumer wearables company. Mark Warner, a Democratic senator in the US, said the purchase raised “serious concerns” as it could tip new areas of the burgeoning personalised health and wellness market in favour of the large tech companies, while Representative David Cicilline, chair of the House antitrust committee, said the deal “would threaten to give [Google] yet another way to surveil users and entrench its monopoly power online”.

  • UPDATE 2-Microsoft granted license to export 'mass-market' software to Huawei
    Reuters

    UPDATE 2-Microsoft granted license to export 'mass-market' software to Huawei

    Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it had been granted a license from the U.S. government to export software to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump said this week it would allow some suppliers to restart sales to the Chinese telecoms giant, which was placed on a trade blacklist over national security concerns six months ago. The Commerce Department confirmed it had begun issuing licenses for some companies to sell goods to Huawei, expanding the company's supplier base and providing long-awaited clarity to the industry that once sold it billions of dollars worth of goods.

  • Apple AirPods Shipments Expected to Double to 60 Million in 2019
    Bloomberg

    Apple AirPods Shipments Expected to Double to 60 Million in 2019

    (Bloomberg) -- Shipments of Apple Inc.’s popular AirPods wireless earphones are expected to double to 60 million units in 2019, according to people familiar with the Cupertino-based company’s production plans. This has been driven in part by “much higher” than expected demand for the pricier AirPods Pro model unveiled in October.The $249 AirPods Pro -- which offer noise cancellation and water resistance -- have surpassed expectations and demand for them is pushing Apple’s assembly partners against capacity and technical constraints, a person familiar with the matter said. Multiple suppliers are competing for the business of manufacturing the Pro earphones, though some are still building up the technical proficiency. There’s currently a wait time of two to three weeks for the AirPods Pro on Apple’s U.S. website.The most advanced form of wireless headphones is called “true wireless,” defined by the absence of a wire not just between the headphones and the music source but also between the two earbuds -- and the AirPods are the category-leading example. Taiwan-based Inventec Corp. and China’s Luxshare Precision Industry Co. and Goertek Inc. manufacture the AirPods for Apple.Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller declined to comment on the product’s shipments.The pickup in AirPods sales this year has been helped by the launch of two new iterations: the Pro model in October and a $199 upgraded version of the original in March. The first AirPods were released in 2016. The runway is also mostly clear for Apple to have a successful holiday season, with Microsoft Corp. delaying its rival true wireless buds until spring and Google also not launching its new model until 2020.At the end of August, Apple was the clear leader in the global true wireless earphones market, according to Counterpoint Research. AirPods shipments have dwarfed every alternative and the Beats Powerbeats Pro, another Apple product, also feature in the top 10 sellers. While Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy Buds have emerged as a recognizable competitor, Apple moreover ranked as the most preferred brand for future purchases of true wireless headphones in the U.S., the researchers said.“Apple also edged rivals because true wireless as a category is the preferred choice over wireless earphones, due to factors like better sound quality, portability, and ease of use,” Counterpoint analyst Pavel Naiya wrote on Sept. 26.Wearables like the AirPods and Apple Watch have become a crucial growth driver for the Cupertino company, which is adapting to plateauing iPhone demand in a mature smartphone market. In the past quarter, Apple’s iPhone sales shrunk to $33.4 billion from the prior year’s $36.8 billion, whereas the Wearables, Home, and Accessories segment -- composed of the Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats, HomePod and Apple TV groups -- generated $6.5 billion in revenue, growing by 54%.Total shipments of the AirPods Pro for the year will be determined by how well and how quickly the assemblers overcome the production challenges they currently face. If the overall AirPods range hits 60 million units in 2019 as is now expected, Apple should retain its 50% share of the true wireless market, which Counterpoint expects to surpass 120 million shipments for the year.\--With assistance from Mark Gurman.To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google.org and YouTube CEO chip in to stop family homelessness
    American City Business Journals

    Google.org and YouTube CEO chip in to stop family homelessness

    Google and Salesforce have both given grants to Hamilton Families, a nonprofit shelter and service provider in San Francisco's Tenderloin.

  • David Tepper Bites Into Alibaba, Boosts 3 Positions in 3rd Quarter
    GuruFocus.com

    David Tepper Bites Into Alibaba, Boosts 3 Positions in 3rd Quarter

    Appaloosa manager's top buys include Google parent and chip maker Continue reading...

  • Obama Warns Technology Has Created a More Splintered World
    Bloomberg

    Obama Warns Technology Has Created a More Splintered World

    (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned that technology is creating a more splintered world, fueling the disparities among wealthy and poorer nations, and people within countries.“The rise of extreme inequality both within nations and between nations that is being turbocharged by globalization and technology” is one of the biggest risks for young people, Obama said Thursday at Salesforce.com Inc.’s annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. “New technologies have allowed us reach. We have a global market. I can project my voice and you can take your technology to new markets. It has also amplified inequalities.”Though his successor Donald Trump has taken presidential use of Twitter to new heights, Obama has long been associated with the tech industry. His 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns were known for their use of the internet and social media to galvanize supporters. Some of Obama’s staffers came from Silicon Valley companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and there’s a diaspora of former Obama administration officials who have worked in the tech industry since leaving the White House, including David Plouffe, formerly with Uber Technologies Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.’s top spokesman Jay Carney.Still, the 44th president talked about how the internet has helped divide American politics and society.“People remark on the polarization of our politics and rightfully so,” Obama said. “People rightfully see challenges like climate change and mass refugees and feel like things are spinning out of control. Behind that, what I see is a sense of anxiety, rootlessness and uncertainty in so many people. Some of that is fed by technology and there’s an anger formed by those technologies.”Social-media services including Facebook Inc. and Google‘s YouTube have been accused of fueling polarization with algorithms that show people news and other content that match their preconceived thinking and viewpoints.“If you watch Fox News, you live in a different reality than if you read the New York Times. If you follow one rabbit hole on YouTube or the internet, then suddenly things look completely different,” Obama said during his conversation with Salesforce co-Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff. “We are siloing ourselves off in ways that are dangerous. I believed, and I still believe the internet can be a powerful tool for us to finally see each other and unify us, but right now it’s disappointing.”Since leaving the White House in January 2017, Obama has become a fixture on the paid-speaker circuit. Thursday’s appearance at Dreamforce is at least Obama’s second appearance at a tech event in San Francisco in the last two months. He also spoke at a Splunk Inc. conference in September.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Microsoft Delays Its AirPods Rival Until After the Key Holiday Season

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. delayed the launch of its Surface Earbuds, missing the 2019 holiday shopping season. The software giant is the latest company to stumble in a race to catch up with Apple Inc.’s popular AirPods.The Surface Earbuds will come out in spring 2020, not this year as previously planned. The announcement was made by Panos Panay, the company’s chief product officer, on Twitter.The wireless earbuds were announced earlier this year, and like AirPods, are cord free. The Microsoft version has a circular shape, integrates with a voice assistant and can be used to control Microsoft software like PowerPoint.At $249, the Surface Earbuds are priced the same as Apple’s new AirPods Pro, but the delay means Microsoft will be missing out on a key category this holiday season.Google has also been working to upgrade its wireless earbuds. That product will also be missing this holiday season. The company is aiming for a release in the spring at a price of $179.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in San Francisco at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Google’s Micro-Targeting Ban Won’t Improve Political Ads

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Google says it will limit the targeting of political ads to make it harder to sneak misinformation to impressionable voters. That puts the company ahead of the pack when it comes to making the political business of big internet platforms look less threatening. But the efficiency of political micro-targeting is questionable, and Google is responding to a moral panic rather than any real danger to democracy.Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the public has become aware of techniques that allow advertisers to aim their messages at narrow groups of people, sliced not just by place of residence, age and sex, but also by consumer and political preferences, browsing histories, voting records and other kinds of personal data. This culminated in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018, when news reports showed that the U.K.-based micro-targeting firm had improperly harvested lots of private user data from Facebook. The platforms were on the spot to do something. Twitter has banned political ads entirely, but then it didn’t sell many, anyway, serving instead as a free platform for political messages. In an op-ed in the Washington Post following Twitter’s announcement, Ellen Weintraub, chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Election Commission, called for an end to political micro-targeting instead of an ad ban. “It is easy to single out susceptible groups and direct political misinformation to them with little accountability, because the public at large never sees the ad,” she argued.That was a controversial proposal. Writing in the same newspaper, Chris Wilson, who had been responsible for digital strategy in Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign (which was the first in that election to hire Cambridge Analytica), countered that micro-targeting has helped increase voter turnout and drive down advertising costs for campaigns. His suggestion was to make the targeting more transparent.Google, however, found it more expedient to go along with Weintraub’s proposal than to fight an uphill battle using Wilson’s arguments. In a blog post on Wednesday, the company said it would no longer let advertisers target messages “based on public voter records and general political affiliations (left-leaning, right-leaning, and independent).” Only basic targeting by age, gender and postal code would be allowed.This, is course, is no more than Russian trolls would have required in 2016 — as Wilson pointed out in his Washington Post op-ed. Their propaganda campaign was largely geographically targeted. There’s still no proof that micro-targeting is more effective than other forms of advertising. Academic work on the subject has tended to be rather theoretical, while experimental evidence is scarce. In a paper published this year, German researcher Lennart Krotzek concluded after an experiment matching ads to personality profiles that “candidate messages are more effective in improving a voter’s feeling toward a candidate when the messages are congruent with the voter’s personality profile, but they do not result in a higher propensity to vote for the advertised candidate.”Internet platforms have done little to further the study of political targeting.Google offers a transparency report on political ads placed on its various properties — search pages, YouTube, the sites of media partners. It says that the biggest U.S. advertiser in the last 12 months is the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which has spent $8.5 million. The report discloses that the pro-Trump group has targeted its most recent ads at all people older than 18 throughout the U.S., but offers no clues as to whether any more precise targeting was used. That’s the case with the rest of the advertisers, too.Facebook’s transparency report is just as opaque when it comes to the precise targeting of ads by voters’ interests and political leanings.  It’s easier for Google than for Facebook to abandon precise targeting, because one of its key strengths is being able to link ads to search words. That’s a form of rather precise targeting not affected by Google’s policy change. Slicing and dicing the audience is at the heart of Facebook’s offering to advertisers, so it’s understandably hesitant to disable the feature, thought it, too, has been mulling some targeting curbs.But Facebook doesn’t have to make the sacrifice. It would make more sense to reveal exactly how each political ad is targeted — and to cooperate with researchers interested in evaluating the ads’ efficiency. Facebook has the means to deliver messages from such researchers to the target audiences, which would help them recruit subjects for experiments. Google should have done the same instead of introducing drastic curbs that probably won’t do much to raise the level of political discourse, anyway. Policymakers need data, not hype, to make informed decisions on how to regulate modern advertising.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Loon’s autonomous balloons are bringing the internet to rural Peru
    Quartz

    Loon’s autonomous balloons are bringing the internet to rural Peru

    The Alphabet-owned company signed a deal with the Facebook-backed Internet Para Todos.